French artist Philippe Caza creates some truly amazing surreal, futurist, psych artworks. At 18, Philippe started a career in advertising which lasted for ten years, but in 1970 he entered the field of bandes dessinées, releasing his first album, “Kris Kool”. Caza began to publish work in the magazine Pilote, starting with his series “Quand les costumes avaient des dents” (When Costumes had Teeth) in 1971, followed by other short work. The series of stories “Scènes de la vie de banlieue” (Scenes of Suburban Life) was published in 1975, followed by the “L’Âge d’Ombre stories”, “Les Habitants du crépuscule” and “Les Remparts de la nuit”.
Los Angeles based Todd Schorr is an American artist and one of the most prominent members of the “Lowbrow” art movement or pop surrealism. Combining a cartoon influenced visual vocabulary with a highly polished technical ability, based on the exacting painting methods of the Old Masters, Schorr weaves intricate narratives that are often biting yet humorous in their commentary on the human condition.
Schorr grew up as a child in Oakland, New Jersey. Showing a compulsion for drawing at an early age, his parents enrolled him in Saturday morning art classes when he was five years old. Deeply affected by fantasy movies such as the 1933 film classic “King Kong” and the early animated cartoons of Walt Disney and Max Fleischer, their influence along with comic books such as “Mad” would have a lasting effect on Schorr’s developing visual vocabulary.
Mat Maitland is a collage artist based in London. His images and films have been commissioned by a wide range of clients including Kenzo, Hunter, Interview Magazine, Tate Gallery, and Nike among many others.
“My aesthetic is pop with overlapping surrealist and cinematic tones. I love to abstract images and place them back together in a different context, which conjures up new ways of looking at things. Print and motion work are my favorite mediums. In different and yet complementary ways, they allow me to explore new dimensions” Mat Maitland
Love Lundell’s paintings unfold in their own world. Dreamlike, mystical, surrealist, but also harboring references to the everyday, his paintings alternate between engaging the viewers directly and holding back in passive contemplation. Executed in a range of muted palettes, Lundell’s paintings includes collage technique and often reveals a fragmentary crackling effect due to layer upon layer of applied lacquer.
Rotterdam, Netherlands based Milou Maass’ work seems delicate, yet powerful. Characterized by fashion, hair textures, realism and surrealism, organic and geometric shapes, she manages to create intense illustrations. Maass mainly draws with pen and pencil, and has become more and more interested in typography, integrating her new passion into her more recent work.
Istambul, Turkey based Aykut Aydogdu’s work is purely digital, drawn or painted with a tablet in Adobe Photoshop. His work walks the fine line between surrealism daydream and surrealism nightmare.
Aydogdu’s work is stunning in both quality and subject matter. Portraying scenes like a woman’s head impaled by a rose, another woman engaging in a sensual kiss with a decapitated head, and a third atop a toilet seemingly “shitting roses,” the result is both comical, dark, and deeply alluring.
Gertrude Abercrombie was an American painter based in Chicago. Called “the queen of the bohemian artists”, Abercrombie was involved in the Chicago jazz sceneand was friends with musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, and Sarah Vaughan, whose music inspired her own creative work.
She painted many variations of her favored subjects: sparsely furnished interiors, barren landscapes, self-portraits, and still-lifes. Many compositions feature a lone woman in a flowing gown, often depicted with attributes of sorcery: an owl, a black cat, a crystal ball, or a broomstick.
Abercrombie’s mature works are painted in a precise, controlled style. She took little interest in other artists’ work, although she admired Magritte. Largely self-taught, she did not regard her lack of extensive formal training as a hindrance.
Her work evolved into incorporating her love for jazz music, inspired by parties and jam sessions she hosted in her Hyde Park home. Musicians such as Sonny Rollins, Max Roach, Jackie Cain and the Modern Jazz Quartet were considered friends. Dizzy Gillespie described her “the first bop artist. Bop in the sense that she has taken the essence of our music and transported it to another art form”.
Toronto-based Troy Brooks is a contemporary surrealist painter. His work presents an elaborate pageantry of female characters observed in allegorical settings. These women play out intimate scenes, usually caught in moments where something transformative has or is about to happen. The ‘women of Troy’ have become distinctive images on the contemporary pop surrealism scene.
“I paint women because, for me, they are ultimately the most visually lyrical subject and to be honest I relate to women much more than I do men. Always have. When I was a teenager I used to spend all day in the town library pouring over books about silent movie actresses. I loved the prostitutes in Van Dongen and Otto Dix paintings. I was obsessed with the 1930’s drunken Parisian lesbians in Brassaï photographs and the “bitch goddesses” from 40’s film noir etc. I amassed quite an extensive collection of old photographs. I made endless drawings of these women. One thing that used to drive me crazy was that I always made the faces too long. It was something I used to have to go back and fix in my drawings. When I began creating my own characters I decided to just accentuate it.” – Troy Brooks
Milan, Italy based artist Paolo Pibi paints from the natural world. He describes his surrealist landscapes as images of the inside of his mind. Like Giorgio de Chirico, Salvador Dali, and other Surrealists before him, Pibi’s acrylic paintings break free from the straight representational landscapes that are familiar and take us into other worldly territory.
Inspired by the scenography of everyday life, Rune Fisker’s abstract, surrealist style plays with geometries, line, and tone. The result are subconscious scenes where characters of distorted proportions entangle with phantom scenes hinged between fiction and reality.